On Saturday, after 728 days, the Seminoles will finally square off with the Gators. The game will be on ESPN at noon in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Florida is 5-6 this season with wins against Florida Atlantic, South Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Samford. Their losses came versus Alabama, Kentucky, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina and Missouri.
FSU is 26-36-2 against UF in the series. The ‘Noles have dropped the last two to the Gators with the last win coming in ’17, 38-22.
This will be Coach Norvell’s first game against UF due to COVID last year. This will also be the Gators first game without Dan Mullen, who was fired earlier this week. Running backs coach Greg Knox will serve as interim head coach for the game.
Observation from the last game
Jordan Travis made BC pay time and time again for putting too many men in the box. He had another huge day passing with 250 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Defensive ends Keir Thomas and Jermaine Johnson got after the QB the whole game. Thomas finished up with 2 sacks and 6 QB hurries.
After Jammie Robinson was ejected Jarques McClellion filled in nicely racking up 8 tackles.
Florida State offense versus Florida defense
UF defense ranks 29th in yards given up per game in the FBS but due to all the penalties and turnovers they’re 46th in points given up per game. Florida has done a great job against the pass this year but the run defense has gone missing at times.
If Travis can continue improving his passing it will take pressure off of his running ability and still keep the ‘Noles on schedule. Linebacker Mohamoud Diabate (83 tackles) will need to be at his best to slow down Travis, Jashaun Corbin and Tre’shaun Ward.
Florida State defense versus Florida offense
Quarterback Emory Jones is the engine of the UF offense. He leads the team in passing (2400 yards) and rushing (674 yards). The ‘Noles need to do a better job of containing the QB. Running a few zone coverages on third down may help. Running backs Dameon Pierce and Malik Davis split carries in this balanced offense. The Gators have a few playmakers at receiver led by Jacob Copeland.
The specialists for this match-up are even.
Both teams are sitting at 5-6 with bowls trip on the line. This game does have a different feel for both programs as Florida State is trending upwards after winning five of the last seven and are sitting in the top 20 of the recruiting rankings.
Meanwhile, Florida just fired their coach after an underwhelming 2021 campaign and are losing favor with recruits. Florida still does have a lot of talent and can play with anyone and I don’t expect Florida to lay down after their tumultuous season. It will be the first close game between the two in the long time and I think the good guys will squeak it out. Seminoles 28 Florida 24.